Don’t Pea On The Fire! – Plant Early For A Table Delight

pea crop Pea seed may be sold as garden peas, shelling peas, snap peas, sugar peas, sugar snap peas, snow peas, Chinese peas, edible-podded peas.

Sunlight Requirements: Peas like full sun but will tolerate part shade.
Soil conditions: Peas requires well drained soil. Prefers well drained soil, average fertility, high in organic matter with pH 6.0 to 7.0. Peas are widely adapted, but prefers cool, damp weather.

Peas Tolerate light frost and often can tolerate moderate freezes. Less sensitive to freezing in spring than in fall. Light damage to shoots can actually encourage more secondary shoots and result in more pods per plant.

Germination temperature is 40 F to 85 F – Optimum around 75 F.
Days to emergence: 9 to 13 – 9 days when soil is 60 F. 13 days at 50 F. May take as long as 4 to 5 weeks at 40 F. So In my opinion, never plant until soil warms to 50%F.
Hint Pea seed can be saved 3 years.

Sow seed in spring as soon as you can work the soil. Plant as early as late March or early April depending on how quickly the soil warms and dries. Peas planted in cold soil (40 F) are slow to germinate. Later plantings made when the soil is warmer (60 F or more) often catch up quickly with earlier plantings. Use raised beds if your soil is slow to drain.

Hint Make additional plantings through early to mid May, or plant varieties with different maturity dates to increase the harvest period.

Plant seeds 1 to 2 inches deep, 1 to 4 inches apart in rows 18 inches apart. Shallow planting is best when soils are cool and wet. Plant deeper if soil is dry or very sandy. Erect trellis for tall growing, vining types at planting using chicken wire, brush or other suitable trellis material. Keep your soil moist not wet, but avoid heavy watering during flowering, which can interfere with pollination.

Plant peas with fast growing cool season crops such as spinach or radishes. After final harvest, follow pea beds with late squash plantings or fall harvested cool season crops such as broccoli, leeks or potatoes.

Before planting your peas, cultivate and remove weeds. If peas get a head start, they can out compete the weeds for water, nutrients and sun light. But if the weeds get the head start, the pea plants will not perform well. Frequent, shallow cultivation will kill weeds before they become a problem. Although peas will form a taproot, fibrous lateral roots can be fairly close to the surface of the soil, so it is important not to cultivate too deeply. Be careful not to damage the plants when cultivating.
Hint A wide row of peas, with bushy plants forming a continuous mass, usually stays weed free within the row, and only needs weeds controlled between rows.

Harvest pea shoots for stir fries or steaming, cut six inch lengths of vine. Edible-pod varieties are preferred for shoot harvest.
Harvest shelling peas, observe your plants carefully, sampling the crop each day, once the pods have begun to fill with peas. Optimum pea harvest occurs as soon as the peas have achieved their full size, slightly larger than the dry seed you planted.

Snow peas, wait until the pods have reached their mature length as described on the seed packet. The peas within the pod should be visible only as small traces. If they are allowed to mature further, the pods may become tough. Some varieties have fibrous strings along the edges of the pods, strings should be removed before cooking.

Sugar snap peas, wait until the pods appear almost filled with peas. Sample frequently as the crop matures, and harvest when peas and pods are still sweet, juicy, and tender. Remember that quality declines quickly once maturity is reached. Cook quickly as soon as they are picked. Some varieties will need to have the strings removed before cooking.

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7 responses to “Don’t Pea On The Fire! – Plant Early For A Table Delight

  1. “Why is common sense so uncommon?”


  2. I actually made pea and new potatoes for dinner just last week… no fresh peas but the warmth of it was still wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • With our early spring warm up, often reaching into the 90’s by early June. Peas more often than not stop producing. I find quality frozen peas to be a very good replacement for fresh peas.
      Happy gardening

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have been an absolute failure at growing peas since moving to North Carolina! In Alaska and Wyoming though … mmmm, there’s not much that’s better than homegrown peas!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t have much luck with peas either. To hot, with dry winds. I can’t seem to keep their roots cool and enough moisture in the soil. I do mulch, this is helpful.
      It looks like you in zone 7b or zone 8a. That means your cool spring days quickly turn into warm / hot spring days.
      Seed suppliers claim Wando and Lincoln are both heat tolerant.,

      Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service recommends these varieties.
      * English peas – Alaska, Mr. Big, Maestro, Wando (heat tolerant), Lincoln (heat tolerant)
      * Edible-podded peas, snap – Super Sugar Snap, Sugar Sprint, Early Snap
      * Snow or sugar peas – Snowbird, Oregon Sugar Pod II, Dwarf Gray Sugar

      Good luck in finding a pea that will produce well in NC.

      Happy gardening


  4. their is nothing better then fresh peas from garden… just have to eat them right in the rows with muddy hands.

    Liked by 1 person

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